Travels in West Africa - Congo Français, Corisco and Cameroons - Mary Henrietta Kingsley 1897 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Edition A near fine first edition, illustrated throughout, including 16 halftone plates, 2 lithographic plates, and numerous in-text photographs.

‘From fighting with crocodiles, to being caught in a tornado on the slopes of Mount Cameroon, all while wearing her habitual trailing skirts, high collars, and fur cap, the solo adventures of Victorian traveller Mary Kingsley (1862-1900), as narrated in her best selling book,
Travels in West Africa are nothing short of incredible.’

I have seen many wild animals in their native wilds, but never have I seen anything to equal gorillas going through the bush; it is a graceful, powerful, superbly perfect hand-trapeze performance.

‘Until 1893, Mary Kingsley led a secluded life in Victorian England. At age 30 however, Kingsley defied convention and arranged a trip to west Africa to collect botanical samples for a book left unfinished by her father. Such a daring adventure was unheard of for women at the time. Kingsley travelled through western and equatorial Africa and became the first European to enter parts of Gabon. Her story, as an explorer and as a woman, offers an enduring tale of adventure.’
  'The two travel accounts she produced were immediate best sellers, both for their serious scientific content and their exuberant raciness. They are masterpieces' - Robinson, Wayward Women. [138].

‘She was the first Englishwoman and the "third Englishman," as she put it, to climb the great peak of the Cameroons. She traveled with native guides but otherwise without a man along into some of West Africa's most dangerous jungles, up its most dangerous rivers. She fought off crocodiles with a paddle, hit a leopard over the head with a pot, fell into an animal trap lined at the bottom with sharpened sticks, waded through swamps in water chin deep. Then she wrote this book, which describes her adventures in detail, as well as her discoveries as a naturalist and her observations of the Africans and their customs. She writes a brisk engaging prose and she is clearly dauntless. The book was no. 18 on the Adventure list of the 100 best adventure books. It's a wonderful read’ -
National Geographic Classics.

'This is arguably the best-known of all books by Victorian and Edwardian women travellers. She travelled in the forests of Africa dressed much as she would have done at home' - Theakstone [153]

Provenance: Mary T. Babcock, of Columbus, Ohio, wife of Charles L. Babcock, who was Professor Emeritus of Classics at Ohio State University, with her book plate.

Reference: Robinson,
Wayward Women 138.

Octavo (book size 23.1 x 16 cm) pp. xvi 743 [1] 8 (publisher’s catalogue). Publisher’s red cloth, ruled and lettered in gilt to spine, ruled in blind to boards, top edge trimmed, black coated endpapers.
  Condition: Near fine, toning from former pasted newspaper article to front free endpaper, a little spotting to cloth, and sunning to spine.   Ref: 109320   Price: HK$ 5,000